Reading Between the Lies: Maths vs Fake News - Sam Tickle

27th October 2018
We seem increasingly 'switched on' to the presence of stories in the media which contain suspicious elements. Such stories will regularly use numbers in such a way as to persuade the reader of a certain point of view. Historically, debunking the poor use of Mathematics in these cases has been a relatively straightforward affair, but in a climate where reliable information appears to be at an increased premium, and the audience is noticeably more sophisticated, it is expedient to stay alert to some of the latest tricks. We'll go through some of my favourite recent examples of "interesting" news stories, and try to pin down a strategy for reading between the lines effectively, regardless of the story.